Zoya Akhtar to direct Archie's Comics' Indian adaptation for Netflix
by Jaskiran Kaur | Thu, 11 Nov 2021 14:32:21 GMT
Zoya Akhtar gets to direct the Indian adaptation of hit comics 'Archie comics;' Credits: Variety

Loved watching CW's Riverdale? Lucky for you, Archie comics is going to come back once again on television with a whole new adaption to be directed by the Indian director Zoya Akhtar. 

The comic book series Archie Comics follow up on the life of Archie Andrews and his group of high school friends. The story will now be brought to the Indian cinema houses and given a desi twist by the Indian filmmaker Zoya Akhtar. The story will feature a coming-of-age genre, a complete live-action musical shoot background, and a group of teenagers to rival those of the American drama 'Riverdale.'

The story is to be based somewhere around the 1960s in the Indian subcontinent. The film adaption of the comic series is also to be produced by the director, Zoya Akhtar, along with Reema Kagti. The film is to be adapted for Tiger Baby and Sharad Devarajan for Graphic India. The film has been in talks for quite a long with the first news of its making beginning around 2018. Now, three years after the news initially sprouted in 2018, the comic series will finally get its Indian adaptation.  

The filmmaker has already directed a volley of films, one of which has even been sent to the Oscars back in 2019. Her musical adventure "Gully Boy" featured two young talented actors from Bollywood, Aliya Bhatt and Ranvir Singh. The film was played during the Berlin Film Festival, and hence, was India's entry for the Oscars. 

The director has also helmed an amazing array of films like the Netflix anthology films Ghost Stories that came out in 2020 and Lust Stories, which had released back in 2018. Zoya Akhtar is also a director who has an International Emmy nomination to her name. The director had earned the nod from the Emmys awards, along with producer Kagti for her Amazon series, "Made in Heaven."

The production house Devarajan has also produced Indian gems like the superhero project "Chakra: The Invincible." The film was made along with the superhit star Stan Lee. Another production project by the house that was being assembled with John Woo at the time is the live-action adaptation of Lee's "Monkey Master." The director, Zoya Akhtar is, especially, excited to be working on her new projects, mostly so for the Archies' comic production. 

She said, “I am super excited to have the chance to bring ‘The Archies’ to life. It was a large part of my childhood and teenage years." Referring to the global popularity of the show and its Riverdale adaptation that has garnered immense love from the audience, she said, "The characters are iconic and globally loved, which is also why I am a little nervous. I have to make sure the film stokes the nostalgia of a generation that grew up on the comic and yet resonates with the young adults today."

The show and its characters - Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and Jughead - have a global fanbase dedicated to their stories. With several fanfic stories and spinoff shows about the characters made to fit several cultures around the globe, the comics have been read to an extensive amount, especially in India, where the comic books have been bought largely. 

The CEO and publisher of Archie Comics, Jon Goldwater, shared his happiness for the series to get an Indian adaptation as he said, “It’s a huge source of pride that the Archie Comics characters and stories resonate with fans globally, and especially in India, for more than 50 years." Further, he continued to show his elation at the project being handed to a director as committed to the project and able as Zoya Akhtar. 

The Emmy nominated director commands immense respect from the Indian audience, making the project a hit already. The CEO and producer shared, "We are thrilled to partner with Netflix and trust Zoya Akhtar and her creative team to deliver a truly unique and exciting take on Archie and friends through the lens of Indian cinema. We know that these characters have global appeal, and translating them into other settings and cultures is just the start of what we have planned for future multimedia adaptations."

The Netflix India director of films and licensing, Pratiksha Rao, also shared how such a project would be received by an Indian audience that has necessarily grown up reading the Archie comics from childhood. She said, “The characters, adventures, and friendships in Archies have found fans across the world for generations. With Archie Comics, Graphic India, and Tiger Baby, we have an extraordinary opportunity to recreate the world of Archie comics, this time as a live-action musical."

The comics have been loved in India for over five decades; Credits: Polygon

Just as the CEO of Archie Comics did, the director appreciated Zoya's prowess behind the camera, and said that she is an able person to helm a project of such magnitude. The director added, "Zoya has an incredible and unique ability to make stories and the characters in them relatable, making them feel like they are an extension of our own self. We are thrilled to partner with her in bringing to life the world of Archies to fans and our members in India and around the world."